It’s been nearly a month since the College Cup season wrapped up and all of the postseason awards have been announced except for one, the Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) Hermann Trophy award. This coveted award is the single biggest individual achievement in college soccer. It’s the MVP award for the more than 5,000 division one men’s soccer players. Fifteen semi-finalists were named a month ago, and now the three finalists remain. For the 47th anniversary of the award, to be announced on Friday, January 10, the three finalists are Patrick Mullins (Maryland), Harrison Shipp (Notre Dame), and Leo Stolz (UCLA). College Soccer News takes a look at all three of the men’s résumés for you to decide which player deserves to take home this storied trophy.
Patrick Mullins: The 2012 MAC Hermann Trophy winner didn’t disappoint in his senior campaign, besting his 2012 mark of 44 points, accumulating 46 points en route to a College Cup final appearance. The New Orleans native is aiming to become the fourth player ever (Al Trost, Mike Seerey, Mike Fisher) to win back-to-back Hermann Trophy awards and the first since 1996. Mullins (19g, 8a), a two-time First Team All American selection has become known for his selfless play, and veteran leadership as a Terp. Maryland Coach Sasho Cirovski speaks extremely highly of his forward, “When I build my stadium, I’m going to build a bronze statue of that young man in front.” The College Park fan favorite was impressive during his four years and has already signed a contract with MLS. The senior captain is expected to be a top 5 pick in the MLS Draft next week. Whether Mullins culminates his Maryland career with a second consecutive trophy or not his career will go down in college soccer history.
Harrison Shipp: The Irish playmaker is looking to become the second Notre Dame player (Joseph Lapira) to win this award, after having a phenomenal season leading the ACC powerhouse school to their first ever National Championship. With the graduation of fellow teammate and 2012 Hermann Trophy finalist Ryan Finley, someone was expected to step up and this someone was Harrison Shipp. Shipp (12g, 10a), is the true definition of coming to fruition as he went from coming off the bench last year to being the ACC Offensive Player of the Year as a senior. The true #10 isn’t the biggest in stature, but his quick maneuvers and on ball decision-making allowed him to thrive in Coach Bobby Clark’s system. Clark was only positive in his remarks about his captain claiming, “On the soccer field, Harry is a magician. I call him a wizard since he can conjure up amazing feats when none seem possible.” The “wizard” is widely expected to sign a homegrown contract with the Chicago Fire of the MLS, where he played his academy ball. Shipp may be the favorite to win, which would cap off his unbelievable “ChampionShipp” year with one last accomplishment.
Leo Stolz: The Pac-12 Player of the Year is the lone junior on the list and is looking to win the award after a tremendous season leading the Bruins to a #1 seed coming into the NCAA Tournament. Stolz (11g, 8a), a midfield maestro showed why he’s such a dangerous player in the attacking third with his dynamic dribbling qualities and his ability to set up his teammates. Coach Jorge Salcedo was complimentary of his #10 stating, “He has the skill set and the ability to make plays that are attacking plays, plays that are dynamic plays that leads to goals, and plays that he scores goals with.” The German playmaker is looking to become the third UCLA player (Brad Friedel, Sasha Victorine) to win the national player of the year award and the first since 1999. The First Team All American selection led the Bruins to their 31st consecutive tournament appearance (2nd longest active streak), recording 2 goals and 3 assists in the team’s two games. Stolz denied an MLS Generation Adidas contract and will return for his senior year, looking to win the national championship. The two time PAC-12 first team honoree is the underdog in the bid for the Hermann Trophy, but regardless of what happens he’s flourished this year and will without a doubt be the favorite to win the award next year.
Ben Roth is a contributing writer for College Soccer News. He can be reached at Ben.firstname.lastname@example.org